I've been thinking for a couple days what to put here, rolling back and forth from succinct to painfully wordy. Hopefully, I'll land somewhere in the middle.
I've brought you link after link in Cub Tracks since it debuted on November 20, 2012 (holy crap - I've done this for almost two years?!?!). But this will be my last edition, at least as the regular author. Starting Thursday, Russ La Croix will take over this thrice-weekly column. If you've ever passed through one of his On the Horizon or Heroes and Goats articles, you already know he'll do a mighty fine job in this space.
I'll still be a BCB contributor, in a space to be determined. And I'll still appear in the comments, likely in my, ahem, vocal manner. But at this point in time, I need to prioritize some other things ahead of having a deadline and responsibility three times a week here at BCB.
But I want to very publicly thank Al for the opportunity to write in this space. Cub Tracks was my idea and it was my pleasure to bring you all these links for so long. I hope you've enjoyed it and will continue to visit and support Russ, particularly during the offseason.
Enough with the intro - on to the links.
From Comcast SportsNet
- Here's the year in Cub quotes.
- The media is going to make sure there's pressure on the Cubs to spend big this offseason. Patrick Mooney gets it started.
- As the Cubs (likely) make a pitch to free agent to be Jon Lester, they may lean on his connection to Anthony Rizzo.
- The end was frustrating, but it was a year of redemption for Starlin Castro.
- Kyle Hendricks got quite the education this season.
From Cubs Den
- The Cubs will select ninth in next summer's amateur draft. It's early, but that spot should give them plenty of options.
- Starlin Castro grew as a player and as a teammate this year.
- John Arguello joins the call to extend the contract of Theo Epstein. You know what? I'm going the other way on this one. I don't see the need to extend him this offseason with two years on his deal. Let's see more of the progress next season, then take care of a possible extension next offseason.
- The Cubs young talent brightened up what was otherwise another tough season.
- The bleachers will be the first stage of the Wrigley renovations.
- Rick Renteria is already looking ahead.
- You can vote for Anthony Rizzo in his bid to win the Hank Aaron Award. This is Chicago: vote early, vote often.
- Jesse Rogers thinks optimism is warranted, but that the playoffs are still a long shot in 2015. I think that's fair.
- Rogers hands out some Cub team awards.
- All the potential also brought a disturbing strikeout trend.
- Anthony Rizzo disagrees with Jesse Rogers. Rizzo is expecting a division title.
- VIDEO: Rick Renteria talks about the vibe for next season.
- Starlin Castro doesn't care where he hits in the line-up next season.
From the Chicago Sun-Times
- The Cubs are staying positive heading into next season.
- Many of the young Cubs have learned lessons from Derek Jeter.
- Gordo talked to Kyle Lohse, who says players remember how they were treated by clubs. Gordo is insinuating that Kris Bryant can, will, and should hold a grudge against the Cubs.
From the Daily Herald
- Renovations are under way.
- Len Kasper thinks the young Cubs showed an awful lot this season.
- And the team sees better things for next season.
- This was a fun little article. Anthony Rizzo hit one of the "most extreme" homers of the 2014 campaign.
Today's food for thought
- Here are some plans for a futuristic city in Antarctica.
- George Takei narrated a funny philosophical parody of a fable.
- From the NFL, Detroit Lions' tight end Joseph Fauria was injured while potty training his puppy.
- This glass igloo hotel gives a great view of the Northern Lights.